This past spring and summer, styling was all about the rough blow-dry and matte finish, but this winter's looks are heading in the opposite direction. As we ring in the new year, it's sleek, lustrous locks that are back in style. "When times are tough, the best way to get back on track is to get up, do your hair and look fabulous," says Patrick McIvor, owner of Patrick McIvor Color Studio in Bethlehem, PA. "Making your hair look shiny and healthy costs very little but feels like a million dollars."
Stylists from McIvor's salon offered some styling strategies to help clients achieve this polished look. One is to sell them on a warmer shade of color to reflect more light. Another is to suggest that they rinse hair with cold water after shampooing to close the cuticle. Using the cool setting when blow-drying hair and a paddle brush to smooth the cuticle also helps bring out intense shine. Additionally, there are a variety of products on the market—from serums to sprays to balms—that do the trick nicely. —GRACE BAHK
Serums are effective because even a dime-sized application can go a long way. Clients can apply them to wet hair for natural shine and body, and also use them as heat protectants before styling. 1) Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss features rice bran oil, which adds shine and protects from UV damage (aveda.com); 2) Keune Blend Shine comes in perfectly sized capsules and blends with any styling product (keune.com); 3) Joico K-PAK Protect & Shine Serum uses keratin silicone to prevent split ends and provide polish (joico.com); 4) Profound Beauty Glossary Serum is a dry silicone serum that's highly concentrated for brilliant shine (profoundbeauty.com); 5) KIS Shine Serum provides glasslike shine and is scented with a fresh pomegranate fragrance (kishaircare.com); 6) PureOlogy Shine Max increases color vibrancy and shine (pureology.com); 7) Paul Mitchell Smoothing Gloss Drops is infused with chamomile, jojoba and henna extracts (paulmitchell.com).
Creams, Balms, Gels
Other formulations can be used to play with texture and provide more hold. 1) Nioxin Smoothing Reflectives Pure Shine Gel provides strong hold and a glossy finish (nioxin.com); 2) Sexy Hair Silky Control Crème tames thick or coarse hair, with an added cherry-vanilla scent (sexyhair.com); 3) Pravana Shine and Define Wax gives hair a sleek, wet look and is perfect for short styles (pravana.com); 4) Redken Outshine 01 anti-frizz polishing milk is a light smoothing cream that contains shea butter to control frizz (redken.com).
Many clients prefer the convenience of lightweight, spray-in products like these. 1) Goldwell Dual Senses Color Gloss Spray provides an ultrafine spray that enhances color brilliance (goldwell.com); 2) Barex Italiana Gloss Hairspray has jojoba oil to eliminate flyaways and static electricity (oloffbeauty.com); 3) Alterna Hemp Spray Shine provides a mist of shine on styled hair without reducing the hold of other products (alternahaircare.com); 4) TIGI S-Factor Shiny Happy People Spray Shine is a light aerosol formula that gives hair long-lasting shine (tigihaircare.com); 5) Abba Pure Shine Spray contains heat-protecting mica crystals for dull, brittle hair (pureabba.com); 6) Sebastian Trilliant contains a multifaceted shimmer complex that conditions hair and adds body and shine (sebastianprofessional.com); 7) Organic Color Systems No Plastic Styling Spray Gloss uses calendula oil and green tea extracts for natural shine (organiccolorsystems.com).